A troupe of performers from China is changing the way we see disabled people, and in the process the performers are providing medical help and hope to disabled people all around the world. Dr Bruce Hensel has the exclusive story
"You will not believe what these artists can do until you see it. I first met them last year; even as a physician who sees the how much they can accomplish I was astounded at the music and art they create. They will be performing at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium; Their performance will benefit others in need," Hensel said.
The show is called "My Dream," and it is all part of the China Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe. The performers include people made deaf by tainted medicines, a blind singer; and a dancer with no arms. Founded in 1987, the troupe does 150 performances a year around the world
"They are dancing and singing....some are deaf, some blind, some lose limbs but they dance with grace, spirit, and soul," said Ying He from the American Chinese Culture Association which invited the troupe to bring the show to Southern California after seeing its performances in the 2008 Paralympics opening and closing ceremonies
The president of the troupe- who has severe hearing problems herself - helps 20 hearing impaired artists practice their signature 1000 hands dance.
The troupe's performance will have an immediate local impact, as some proceeds from the performance will go to a local hospital, and the North Hollywood non-profit group Wheelchairs for Humanity.
David Richard, head of Wheelchairs for Humanity, says his organization partnered with the American Chinese Culture Association to present the troupe here because he has been spreading the same message and work ethic for years.
"It's unbelievable to see people with disabilities perform like this. You'll be in a state of wonderment," Richard said.
At the Wheelchairs for Humanities factory, disabled people work side by side with others to refurbish donated wheelchairs and hand fit them to children and adults with disabilities in developing nations. The company has a five year plan to provide education and assistance for china and other parts of the world.
China Disabled People's Performing Arts Troupe
Wheelchairs for Humanity